CUMBERLAND COUNTY EX REL: STATE OF ALABAMA O. B. O.: Alisha Lee, Plaintiff,
CLIFFORD LEE, Defendant.
in the Court of Appeals 11 April 2019.
by defendant from order entered 11 January 2018 by Judge
Robert J. Stiehl, III in Cumberland County No. 1 CVD 6645
Cumberland County Child Support Department, by Ben Logan
Roberts and Roxanne C. Garner, for plaintiff-appellee.
Leon Lee, II, pro se, for defendant-appellant.
Lee ("defendant" or "C. Leon Lee, II")
appeals from an order holding him in civil contempt. For the
reasons stated herein, we vacate and remand.
July 2002, a Cumberland County District Court entered an
order whereby defendant was ordered to pay $350.00 per month,
beginning 1 August 2002, for the support of his minor child.
The Cumberland County Child Support Enforcement Agency
("plaintiff" or "the agency") filed a
motion to intervene on behalf of the custodial parent of the
minor child, Alisha Blackmon Lee ("relator"), to
provide child support enforcement services. The motion came
on for hearing on 1 November 2007 before the Honorable A.
Elizabeth Keever in Cumberland County District Court. On 10
March 2008, the trial court entered an order allowing
plaintiff to intervene and ordering defendant to pay the
ongoing child support obligation into the North Carolina
Child Support Centralized Collections.
filed a motion to terminate ongoing child support and to
establish arrears with repayment on 18 January 2011. The
motion and a notice of hearing for 17 February 2011 was
served on defendant by first class mail on 21 January 2011.
Defendant moved for a continuance on 4 February 2011. The
trial court denied defendant's motion for a continuance
at the 17 February 2011 hearing, the Honorable Kimbrell
Kelly-Tucker presiding. That same day, the trial court
entered an order terminating ongoing child support, effective
30 June 2010, establishing defendant's arrears at $9,
839.30 and setting repayment at $385.00 per month, beginning
1 March 2011.
April 2017, the trial court entered an order to appear and
show cause for defendant's failure to comply with the 17
February 2011 order. Defendant was served personally with the
order to show cause on 11 May 2017. Defendant moved to
continue the hearing on 15 May 2017. The trial court granted
the motion and continued the hearing to 29 June 2017. The
matter was continued four additional times.
order to appear and show cause came on for hearing on 22
November 2017 in Cumberland County District Court, the
Honorable Robert J. Stiehl, III presiding. However, during
the hearing, defendant claimed an order existed that was not
in the file, so the trial court continued the matter. The
hearing continued from the previous setting on 20 December
2017. Defendant made various arguments, but did not testify
and offered no other evidence. On 11 January 2018, the trial
court entered an order for contempt, finding, inter
1. That on July 19, 2002 an Order was entered in this case
whereby the Defendant was ordered to pay $350.00 per month
for the support and maintenance of the minor child . . .
beginning August 1, 2002.
. . . .
4. It was established that the Defendant owed $9, 839.30 in
outstanding arrears as ...